Elon Musk Aims to Kill the F-Series. We Can’t Stop Laughing.
Ford & Tesla exchange barbs as the latter seeks suggestions on how its new pickup can compete with the Blue Oval’s iconic trucks.
Recently, in describing the production situation at Tesla, founder Elon Musk told The Wall Street Journal that “…there’s a good vibe. I think the energy is good. [But] go to Ford, it looks like a morgue.”
Ford’s V.P. of Communications quickly shot back, with Mark Truby tweeting: “No doubt the vibe is funky in that ‘makeshift tent,’ but it’s not bad either across the street at the #FordRouge plant where a high-quality, high-tech F-150 rolls off the line every 53 seconds like clockwork. Come check it out @elonmusk.”
Earlier in the week, Musk was seeking advice for what features a Tesla pickup truck would have to have to be successful.
He mentions that it’ll be a dual motor, all-wheel drive vehicle with “crazy torque” and a load-balancing suspension as standard. It’s unclear what “crazy torque” means, considering many heavy duty pickup trucks are over 900 lb-ft of it.
One of President Donald Trump‘s biggest supporters is Ross Gerber, an investor who owns a position in Tesla and declared that the Ford pickup truck will be dead in a few years.
Clearly Gerber has no clue how the pickup truck industry works, nor the people who buy them.
Musk, when introducing the volume Model 3 vehicle, said that there would be an entry-level version that carried a $35,000 price tag. He has yet to deliver a single Model 3 at this price, instead opting to build models that are $50,000 or more. He’s even building these revolutionary vehicles inside a makeshift tent.
The Rouge plant where F-150s are built is by no means a tent. It’s not a morgue either. It’s a state-of-the-art facility pumping out a new truck every 53 seconds, just as Truby said.
Ford reportedly makes 5,000 F-150s every 73 hours or so. Musk can barely produce his high-volume gasoline killer car at a rate of 5,000 in an entire month!
If the assembly lines at the Fremont assembly plant are running at capacity now, they’ll never be able to build a vehicle at the volume that it needs to upset Ford, who sold nearly 900,000 F-Series trucks last year.
“But he’ll build another assembly line or plant,” you say?
Sure, he’d have to build a new product like the pickup truck. But where is he going to build it? Is it going to be inside another tent, or will he build a proper factory somewhere else in the country?
What happens when Tesla’s EV tax credits run out and his entry-level cars become more expensive for the consumer to buy?
Fleet buyers are looking for the best deal. Some buy trucks by the thousands and not one at a time. There is zero chance they’ll buy a fancy new electric vehicle that’s more expensive and unproven in the field over an established truck like a Ford.
We’re not shorting Tesla. We just look at the world objectively. And at this time there is a zero chance of Ford’s truck business going anywhere in the next couple of years.
It’s laughable to even think about.